PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines will add to its fleet beginning 2012. This company will allocate at least IDR 224.4 billion to bring the aircraft in the period 2012 to 2014.
According to Director of Operations Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Asep Eka Nugraha, funds used for the addition of the fleet reaches 40% of the total State Capital funds (PMN) to IDR 561 billion disbursed by the government to the state-owned company.
For the initial stage, it will bring 14 units of Boeing B737 series aircraft through a lease in 2012. The plane will come gradually from February to December 2012. With the addition of 14 aircraft, the total aircraft of Merpati Nusantara Airlines at the end of 2012 a total of 44 units. "We will bring dozens of aircraft, for the early stages of 2012 we bring 14 Boeing B737 series," Asep said when re-opening the Merpati Airlines flight route Jakarta - Pangkalpinang in Pangkalpinang.
Asep reveal, the revitalization of the fleet is needed in line with the Merpati Airlines plans to re-route flights serve in Indonesia's western region. "The plane was scheduled to reinforce additional routes in the western parts of Indonesia such as Medan, Kalimantan and other west regions of Indonesia," said Asep.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday (21/12), Merpati Nusantara Airlines re-serving the route flight from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang after being abandoned since 1998. The inaugural flight carried out by Boeing B737-300 aircraft. Flights on the route was done once a day, ie from Jakarta at 15:50 pm and from Pangkalpinang 17.30 pm.
"In return flight for the first time with Boeing B737-300 aircraft with a capacity of 132 seats, the passenger load factor more than 90%. Going forward, we targeted load factor could be stabilized at 80%," he explained.
Reopening of this route is expected to support the Bangka Belitung community for ease of air transportation. "According to our mission to continue to connect the archipelago," said Asep.
Governor of the province of the Bangka Belitung, Eko Maulana Ali said the move of Merpati Airlines are interconnected economy helped open Bangka Belitung. "With the airlines that fly to Pangkalpinang, can support the flow of both passenger transport and goods, especially to Jakarta," he said after the ceremony welcoming the first flight of Merpati Airlines to Pangkalpinang.
According to Eko until now, there are three airlines that fly to the Bangka Belitung, such as Garuda Indonesia, Batavia Airlines, and Sriwijaya Airlines. With the incoming of Merpati Nusantara Airlines, then total are four airlines that will serve the airport Depati Amir, Pangkalpinang. On average there are about 3,800 daily passengers.